Carbohydrate Competence Centre (CCC) takes 70% of all living matter as its research object

The Carbohydrate Competence Centre performs in-depth scientific research on carbohydrate synthesis, modification and degradation. CCC thus aims to generate and develop high-quality knowledge in the field of carbohydrates, to stimulate innovation and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable society.

Prominent research centres (7) and major companies (21) collaborate under the umbrella of CCC to increase the agro-food industry’s innovative capacity. CCC has a strong profile in (inter)national research arenas. While CCC has a strong foothold in the northern provinces of the Netherlands, it also hosts various internationally operating corporations like AVEBE, COSUN, Danone, DSM, FrieslandCampina, Genencor, Limagrain and Mars. Its secretariat is hosted by the University of Groningen. CCC’s budget is € 27 million for 24 research projects. It currently employs 20 PhD students and postdocs.

Intensive cooperation
Agro-food is of huge economic importance to the Netherlands. Agriculture and industry need to innovate continuously to stay at the forefront. CCC places a high stake in intensive cooperation between industry and science. Its research is industry-driven, thus ensuring valorisation and industrial application of the new and innovative knowledge generated.

No less than 70% of all living matter is made up of carbohydrates. They are used for countless products and production processes, such as foodstuffs and healthy ingredients, but also non-food products such as biofuels, plastics, paper, textiles, medicines and cosmetics. CCC aims to play an important role in the transition to the bio-based economy using its innovative knowledge and its broad support base in the industry.

Innovative products
Present research programs include:
•    Carbohydrate structure – function relationships. CCC applies this knowledge to find more effective and efficient ways of using carbohydrates in a wide range of food and non-food products.
•    Carbohydrates and health. CCC develops new methods to accurately determine the effects of carbohydrates on health. It develops healthy carbohydrates and uses these in new healthy or health-promoting products in food and feed.
•    Carbohydrate conversion and processing. Sustainable products and tools for their production are the focus in this field of expertise: how to produce cheap fermentable sugars from biomass and how to process these into innovative products, for example biobased chemicals, biofuels and biomaterials?

The Dutch agricultural and agro-food industries are confronted with huge challenges. Conventional production methods are threatened by high costs and suffocating legislation. These problems are counteracted by the development of innovative technologies. For these, CCC provides the high-quality knowledge required.

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